Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Christmas Time in the Neighborhood

We've been traveling around Manhattan looking at decorations and festivities and it's been a lot of fun. But I thought for today's post we'd stick closer to home. It's so easy to get caught up in the big excitement of the season that the joys right around the corner can be overlooked. Most of the time the greatest joys are in the little moments of light and gratitude.

Since 1991 my synagogue has shared the space of the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew (SPSA), UMC. Our roof collapsed and the congregation very graciously took us in. In the interim we have renovated our sanctuary, but we still have our Saturday morning services at the church, where we have space for junior congregation. It has been a wonderful friendship and we will always be grateful to our brothers and sisters at SPSA. The church was built in 1897 and there are lots of things that need renovation, especially in a building that is so well used. Last night was a benefit concert and the talent was extraordinary. David Hyde Pierce -- yes, Niles Crane from "Frasier" and Victoria Clark, a talented Broadway actress, hosted the show. The show also included Mary Louise Parker, Kelli O'Hara and the Texas Tenors. It was a fabulous night and just around the corner.

How Good it is When Brothers and Sisters Dwell Together in Harmony

This setting really taxed my cell phone camera, but it gives the overall scene. The Texas Tenors are all in black and wearing -- no surprise -- Texas ten gallon hats. 

 Just around the corner from the church Christmas tree sales were taking place. It was after 9:00 and there were still customers. 

I was happy to come home to this pretty sight. This is the Christmas tree in our building lobby. It's an artificial tree and putting it up and taking it down it takes at least four days. We had real trees for years, but New York City requires artificial trees in public spaces out of concern for fire. 

And to go from the sublime to the somewhat silly, these cuties are on my mantel. I did consider something shinier, but as I sorted through all of my cards and decorations I realized I had enough snowmen and stuffed bears to fill the mantel. I think Pepe, the monkey in the middle, looks especially spiffy in his Christmas suit. 

I had a wonderful evening in the neighborhood and I hope you did, too. I got my last minute groceries and spent today indoors, keeping out of our first snow fall. It doesn't look like much stuck to the ground, but it was nice not trudging through the snow to get to the subway this morning. I hope you had a warm and cozy day, too. 

As always thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself!



Interesting history of your synagogue and the church. LOVE all your snowmen and Pepe too.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

How wonderful that the church took in your congregation. That is true fellowship.

Lynn said...

It is a good thing you are out of your boot :-) and it is heart warming to read about the brotherhood between the church and your synagogue.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is wonderful when different faiths can share what they have with each other. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all could live together in such harmony.

Simply Linda said...

That is awesome how the church took you all in. Great pictures you posted! I was wondering..do you ever get down to Macys?(lol..on my Bucket List)--hey, Buttercup..we are expecting Lake Effect snow here in western NY..lots of it!!!Thanks for the smiles.

Anonymous said...

It is such an awesome treat for me when you share a glimpse of your surroundings. Stay safe and warm today.

Julie Corbisiero said...

Hi Carol, I love the Christmas tree in your lobby and I love seeing the trees being sold too on the city sidewalks. Take care and stay warm. Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

Nellie said...

I always enjoy the New York visits you give us through your blog! It sounds like you had a wonderfully festive evening!

Mary said...

This is a wonderful post! That's what this season is all about. Giving, sharing and love!

I love your lobby tree, and yes, Monkey is very festive and happy! Love your mantel!

Kerin said...

Great post.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time at church.
Love this season when everyone seems to come together, in a spirit of fellowship, and kindness.

Warm wishes..

Susie said...

Buttercup, What a wonderful post. I love your photos. I recognized some of your little friends from the office. LOL I was amazed that people buy trees so late at night. :) You can tell I live in a small town . Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Melinda said...

A great story!
The tree is beautiful.

M : )

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I loved reading about the relationship of your synagogue and the church. Harmony among brothers and sisters--it's wonderful to see and experience.

I like your stuffed animals! And yes, that monkey is quite spiffy. :-)

Terra said...

That is a lovely friendship you describe between two congregations, and that concert gives me goosebumps just to think about. The beauty of the church and the star studded attendees, wow.